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Personna 74 Tungsten Blade Variants

There has been numerous excellent threads on this topic, some of which I have referenced at the base of this post, and I would like to acknowledge and thank previous contributors.

Unfortunately, the tyranny of photo hosting sites has resulted in many of the photos in previous posts being void. Hence, I thought I'd post a supplementary information package on this topic, including my own blades and shaving experiences.

There would appear to be at least four iterations of the P74 blades, they being:
  1. Personna 74* Tungsten Steel (blades marked Personna 74* Tungsten Steel Made in USA)
  2. Personna 74* Tungsten Plus (blades marked Personna 74* Tungsten Plus Made in USA)
  3. Personna Super Platinum Chrome (blades marked Personna 74* Tungsten Plus Made in USA)
  4. Personna Super Platinum Chrome (blades marked only with arrows and Made in USA)

There are subtle advertising and packaging variants of the above; examples include:


















From my own blade stash, here are examples of the four variants:









I have shaved with all the above blades. In my personal experience, they are all excellent performers. In terms of longevity, I have shaved with individual Tungsten Steel and Tungsten Plus blades for 20+ shaves, and changed out not for performance reasons, but because I wanted to try another blade. I have shaved with the Super Platinum Chrome (SPC) blades for 10+ shaves, and again changed out not for performance reasons, but because I wanted to try another blade. I would need to do a specific trial with the SPC blades to see if they stretch out to the same longevity of the other variants.

In terms of my experience with regard to performance, the Tungsten Steel and Tungsten Plus blades feel identical - smooth, sharp and both have extraordinary longevity. In my experience, the SPC blade is as sharp as the Tungsten Steel and Tungsten Plus variants, but is even smoother.

If members wish to inquire on the metallurgy and coating of these blades, I am happy to discuss via PM. I am a tertiary-qualified professional metallurgist with 30 years industry experience.






The Strange Evolution Of Personna 74* Packaging

vintage personna

Vintage Personna 74 Tungsten?

Are these the same as Personna 74s?

are NOS Personna "Super Platinum Chrome" blades P74*s in disguise?
 
Hi Norman ; -)

Here's my Super Platinum Chrome which I would fit between 3# & 4#. You can see that the Personna font is different and the arrows are smaller. The seller told me that he had a crate full of them, he was supposed to get back to me with a price... that was 5 years ago.

 
Is it true that Personna stop making the Tungsten steel blades because they were too good? If one blade lasted a month, you would only need to buy 3 tucks (of 5 blades each) per year.
 
Hi Norman ; -)

Here's my Super Platinum Chrome which I would fit between 3# & 4#. You can see that the Personna font is different and the arrows are smaller. The seller told me that he had a crate full of them, he was supposed to get back to me with a price... that was 5 years ago.

Thanks Maxie - yet another subtle variation. Great to hear from you, my friend.
 
Is it true that Personna stop making the Tungsten steel blades because they were too good? If one blade lasted a month, you would only need to buy 3 tucks (of 5 blades each) per year.
That remains a matter of debate. Many contend that the discontinuation of the Tungsten steel blades was indeed because they had such extraordinary longevity (and hence was a commercial issue for Personna), whilst others believe that the blade was not as smooth/comfortable as the competing blades of the era from Wilkinson Sword, Schick and Gillette.
My opinion concurs with the former contention.
 
Hi,

I can tell you I tried one a couple years ago during the One Blade February Challenge. I used it in a Fasan DoubleSlant. It went the entire month, and I tacked on two days in March to even it up to 30 days. I then wrapped it up and saved it for the next February, where it went another 15 days before it began to fall off. I actually took it further, but then decided I had begun to notice a falling off after 45 days.

So, they do last longer. I recall my Dad not buying them back when they were new because they cost enough more than the Schick blades he used. Which, he changed out once a week. I presume he didn't figure he would use a P74 any longer than that. So, perhaps that is why they didn't stick around. They didn't convince enough folks that the blades really would last long enough to be worth the higher price.

Stan
 
Hi,

I can tell you I tried one a couple years ago during the One Blade February Challenge. I used it in a Fasan DoubleSlant. It went the entire month, and I tacked on two days in March to even it up to 30 days. I then wrapped it up and saved it for the next February, where it went another 15 days before it began to fall off. I actually took it further, but then decided I had begun to notice a falling off after 45 days.

So, they do last longer. I recall my Dad not buying them back when they were new because they cost enough more than the Schick blades he used. Which, he changed out once a week. I presume he didn't figure he would use a P74 any longer than that. So, perhaps that is why they didn't stick around. They didn't convince enough folks that the blades really would last long enough to be worth the higher price.

Stan
Yes - I agree with you, Stan. I was astonished at how long my P74 lasted. I didn't push it beyond low 20's (number of shaves), but I had not noticed any deterioration at this point.
 
I have a couple hundred of all the variations you've described. There's one other you didn't picture but of the initial square box Tungsten variant there are some, and I don't know if they were from the earliest ones or what, where the blade is unmarked except for the directional arrows.
 
That remains a matter of debate. Many contend that the discontinuation of the Tungsten steel blades was indeed because they had such extraordinary longevity (and hence was a commercial issue for Personna), whilst others believe that the blade was not as smooth/comfortable as the competing blades of the era from Wilkinson Sword, Schick and Gillette.
My opinion concurs with the former contention.
I myself have never heard the latter.
Here's an interesting read on the subject
Personna 74, the ultimate razor blade – Bruce On Shaving
 
Wanted to add this Variant that I saw on the Bay (at more than 2 bucks per blade). I have never seen a package like this before. Notice the blade is labeled with the "74" logo
 
Wanted to add this Variant that I saw on the Bay (at more than 2 bucks per blade). I have never seen a package like this before. Notice the blade is labeled with the "74" logo
Cheers @cwsnc. I was lucky enough to pick up 50 of these recently on a Forum B/S/T. Maybe we should name this variant the P74 Med Prep?
 
Cheers @cwsnc. I was lucky enough to pick up 50 of these recently on a Forum B/S/T. Maybe we should name this variant the P74 Med Prep?
I am always on the lookout at vintage stores hoping to score the fabled 74, I just can't bring myself to spending the price that the majority of sellers are asking for them on the Bay, when I saw that box of med 74's it really wet my appetite to hopefully trying one someday without dropping a lot of money.
 
...I recall my Dad not buying them back when they were new because they cost enough more than the Schick blades he used. Which, he changed out once a week. I presume he didn't figure he would use a P74 any longer than that. So, perhaps that is why they didn't stick around. They didn't convince enough folks that the blades really would last long enough to be worth the higher price.

Stan
Excellent point.
 
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